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Checklist For My Next Lover


by Jennifer Donnell


Don't ask questions you don't want answers for,

while lying in bed and staring at the ceiling fan, 

appreciating the way it feels to twist toward your kiss

and interlock our fingers, as if fingers

are handed a mission statement, pre-birth,

and ours were meant to loop, pinky upon pinky.

If I begin to think or talk like that,

it's only my body betraying my mind

with the oxytocin of touch- the fire of our lovemaking

convincing me that anything is possible, even the impossible, 

like loving you- the way you might love me,

should I always stay the lover you can't own or have completely.

The lover you will only know by the curve of her hips, 

the hiss of her lips. Don't become a filament over the blue of my eyes.

You're a glimpse at immortality, a pathway to transcend the body 

to the sphere just outside, where time ceases to matter

and the ball of the sun grows warm in our bellies.

I'll love you more than the next lover and never 

as much as the lovers before you, the ones I learned these rules from-

those I loved, who didn't love- whose fingers I traced with mine, 

imagining it rare. When, really, my body was doing 

what so many others could have done just as soundly-

and did, would, or haven't yet.

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